PEORIA, Ill. — The 2020 census is still nearly 10 months away, but Illinois leaders are already at work encouraging people to participate.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker took an extra step signing an executive order to get maximum participation from Illinoisans. He hopes this step will ensure everyone in the Land of Lincoln will be counted.
After talking with several people in Central Illinois Friday, some think the census is important while other don’t mind either way.
“Gov. Pritzker and I want to make sure that everyone in our state has fair and equal access to be counted as part of this 2020 census,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton.
The participation in a census has a huge impact on our state and communities. We currently have 18 congressional seats, but those seats are determined by the population. Billions of dollars in federal funding are also on the line depending on the population in Illinois.
“There’s been a lot of talk about quite a few people leaving Illinois due to issues,” said Katie Luckey. “It’s definitely going to be important for the next one just to find out how many are still sticking around.”
The state is already expected to lose one congressional seat, but is at risk of losing two. In an effort to make sure everyone in the Land of Lincoln participates, and to secure federal funding, Governor Pritkzer signed an executive order Thursday.
“It is critcally important to all of us that we get this count right,” said Pritkzer. “We’re going to work in every community. Door to door and we’re going to be working with people in the communities to make sure that people feel safe when they’re filling out this questionairre.”
One way the state plans to execute that plan is by utilizing the Complete Count Committee. Its purpose is to help educate communities across the state about the importance of the census.
Jackie Petty is on the committee. She serves on the Peoria Park District Board. State Representative Ryan Spain is also a member.
According to a George Washington Institute Of Public Polcy Study, Illinois received just over $34 billion in 2016 based on the 2010 census numbers.
That money was used to fund 55 federal spending programs.
The state lost an average of $953 per person who was not counted.